SONY NW-ZX500
Dec 22, 2019 at 10:04 PM Post #1,383 of 8,161

purk

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I'm at or around 250 hours mark now and to me the ZX507 is one impressive sounding player. It works great with my Sony IER-Z1R as well as my MDR-Z7 MKII. It drives the Z7 MKII very well but a dedicated portable amp such as the Sony PHA-3 or full-size amplifiers still can provide a better performance. The Android implementation on the ZX507 has been very rock solid so far. Battery life is better than expected. I often enable an AirPlane mode to maximize the battery life. Most of my listening has been from the Walkman app.

Below is my quick summary between the ZX507, WM1A, and ZX300 using my Sony MDR-Z7MKII. I decide to leave the WM1Z out of this because it is modded with a silver/gold wire, and clearly a better than the other three players. This is strictly on sound quality only using a balanced output. Also, English is my second language so sorry for my grammatical errors.

E9090A35-3037-48F1-B289-A6041831D3A8.jpeg

ZX507 vs. WM1A (4.4 mm balanced only)

The ZX507 takes a step closer to the WM1A in a much more portable form factor. Tonally it is slightly warmer than the 1A to my ears. The WM1A has a bit more driving power and able to display greater sense of micro and macro dynamics as well as greater transient response compared to the ZX507. The soundstage is about the same in width but the 1A is slightly better in depth here. Thanks to those new capacitors, the bottom end of the ZX507 is more robust compared to the 1A. It is more punchy of the two players. Bass notes exhibit greater sense of extension and decay as well as having greater volume and impact compared to the 1A. Overall, the 1A is still a more neutral of the two players. The 1A is also a little better at resolving finer details. Still, I don't expect the ZX507 to get this close to the 1A while offer all the benefits of Andriod OS. I do really miss the BT receiver function though and I hope Sony brings this and the DAC features back on the future updates. Would also love for Sony to unlock a full hi-rez streaming capacity but I'm afraid that they probably will keep that features for the revamp WM1A/Z. The USB digital out is available from the USB C port but it isn't available during streaming.

ZX507 vs. ZX300 (4.4 mm balanced only)

The ZX507 is clearly a better sounding across the board in the sound quality department for me. I own the ZX300 for over 2 years now and I do enjoy it a good deal, but it always leave me wanting a little more in the sound quality department.

Tonally, the ZX300 is a warmer sounding player compared to the ZX507 and WM1A. As good as the ZX300 is, it falls short at rendering the sense of soundstage especially in the depth department. Due to superior rendering of depth cues and spatial Information, the soundstage is more wholesome on the ZX507. The ZX300 is rather more 2-D in comparison. The ZX507 is also a more detailed of the two players allowing me to hear a little more musical information. The transient response is better on the ZX507 and the sense of attack is a little faster and sharper to my ears. The bass is definitely more robust on the ZX507; reaching lower and having more impact at the same time. The greater bass response does make the Z7Mk2 sounding more enjoyable for me. The ZX507’s sense of clarity also trump that of the ZX300 to my ears.

All in all the ZX507 is a step in the right direction toward a flagship level type of sound on-the-go from Sony. To this set of ears, It is only half of a step behind the WM1A and a full step ahead of the ZX300 in term of sound quality but offer all the benefits of Android including streaming. I really can’t wait to hear what Sony can do on improving the WM1Z/WM1A. Lastly, YMMV and we are talking small audible difference here.
 
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Dec 22, 2019 at 10:36 PM Post #1,385 of 8,161

sander93

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I'm at or around 250 hours mark now and to me the ZX507 is one impressive sounding player. It works great with my Sony IER-Z1R as well as my MDR-Z7 MKII. It drives the Z7 MKII very well but a dedicated portable amp such as the Sony PHA-3 or full-size amplifiers still can provide a better performance. The Android implementation on the ZX507 has been very rock solid so far. Battery life is better than expected. I often enable an AirPlane mode to maximize the battery life. Most of my listening has been from the Walkman app.

Below is my quick summary between the ZX507, WM1A, and ZX300 using my Sony MDR-Z7MKII. I decide to leave the WM1Z out of this because it is modded with a silver/gold wire, and clearly a better than the other three players. This is strictly on sound quality only using a balanced output. Also, English is my second language so sorry for my grammatical errors.



ZX507 vs. WM1A (4.4 mm balanced only)

The ZX507 takes a step closer to the WM1A in a much more portable form factor. Tonally it is slightly warmer than the 1A to my ears. The WM1A has a bit more driving power and able to display greater sense of micro and macro dynamics as well as greater transient response compared to the ZX507. The soundstage is about the same in width but the 1A is slightly better at depth here. Thanks to those new capacitors, the bottom end of the ZX507 is more robust compared to the 1A. It is more punchy of the two players. Bass notes exhibit greater sense of extension and decay as well as having greater volume and impact compared to the 1A. Overall, the 1A is still a more neutral of the two players. The 1A is also a little better at resolving finer details. Still, I don't expect the ZX507 to get this close to the 1A while offer all the benefits of Andriod OS. I do really miss the BT receiver function though and I hope Sony brings this and the DAC features back on the future upgrade. Would also love for Sony to unlock a full hi-rez streaming capacity but I'm afraid that they probably will keep that features for the revamp WM1A/Z. The USB digital out is available from the USB C port but it isn't available during streaming.

ZX507 vs. ZX300 (4.4 mm balanced only)

The ZX507 is clearly a better sounding across the board in the sound quality department for me. I own the ZX300 for over 2 years now and I do enjoy it a good deal, but it always leave me wanting a little more in the sound quality department.

Tonally, the ZX300 is a warmer sounding player compared to the ZX507 and WM1A. As good as the ZX300 is, it falls short at rendering the sense of soundstage especially in the depth department. Due to superior rendering of depth cues and spatial Information, the soundstage is more wholesome on the ZX507. The ZX300 is rather more 2-D in comparison. The ZX507 is also a more detailed of the two players allowing me to hear a little more musical information. The transient response is better on the ZX507 and the sense of attack is a little faster and sharper to my ears. The bass is definitely more robust on the ZX507; reaching lower and more impact at the same time. The greater bass response does make the Z7Mk2 sounding more enjoyable for me. The ZX507’s sense of clarity also trump that of the ZX300 to my ears.

All in all the ZX507 is a step in the right direction toward a flagship level type of sound on-the-go from Sony. To this set of ears, It is only half of a step behind the WM1A and a full step ahead of the ZX300 in term of sound quality but offer all the benefits of Android including streaming. I really can’t wait to hear what Sony can do on improving the WM1Z/WM1A. Lastly, YMMV and we are talking small audible difference here.
great review! thank you very much! (actually I made a decision in favor of zx500 a few weeks ago)
you've confirmed my judgement.
one more question. will I be as pleased listening nirvana - poly with zx500 as I was with wm1a? hearing all that magic details and being very interested in listening... (iphone se sucks in performing this composition)
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 10:44 PM Post #1,386 of 8,161

purk

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How great is the ZX507 driving the IER-Z1R? Is it enough if I will just plug it directly through balanced connection without any additional amp? I currently use it with MDR-Z7MKII and was wondering if I should get the IER-Z1R for outdoor.

Not as good as having a dedicated amp for sure. I don’t have Z1R anymore but my TA-ZH1ES was able to drive the Z1R better than the WM1Z when I had all three together.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 10:47 PM Post #1,387 of 8,161

doolittle27

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Not as good as having a dedicated amp for sure. I don’t have Z1R anymore but my TA-ZH1ES was able to drive the Z1R better than the WM1Z when I had all three together.
Thank you for a quick reply. If that's a case then I might be better off getting the IER-M9 instead. Any suggestions or comments before I pull the trigger? Thanks!
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 10:55 PM Post #1,388 of 8,161

purk

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Thank you for a quick reply. If that's a case then I might be better off getting the IER-M9 instead. Any suggestions or comments before I pull the trigger? Thanks!

Sorry I Can’t say much about the M9, but you can also get the Z7 MK2 instead of MDR-Z1R for much cheaper.


great review! thank you very much! (actually I made a decision in favor of zx500 a few weeks ago)
you've confirmed my judgement.
one more question. will I be as pleased listening nirvana - poly with zx500 as I was with wm1a? hearing all that magic details and being very interested in listening... (iphone se sucks in performing this composition)

Well, the Poly and Mojo combination haas more driving power so it is likely better at driving harder to drive headphones. I think the ZX500 is a really good sounding player. I didn’t expect the ZX507 to sound better than the ZX300 honestly. I was wrong.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 11:02 PM Post #1,390 of 8,161

purk

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I already have the Z7M2 which I'm very happy with. I just think about getting an IEM because it might make it easier to use outside my house.
If you can swing for the IER-Z1R then do it.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 11:18 PM Post #1,391 of 8,161

Damz87

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I prefer the M9 over Z1R out of ZX507. But surprisingly my favourite IEM with ZX507 is XBA-N3. For some reason these two pair really well.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 11:24 PM Post #1,392 of 8,161

sander93

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Sorry I Can’t say much about the M9, but you can also get the Z7 MK2 instead of MDR-Z1R for much cheaper.




Well, the Poly and Mojo combination haas more driving power so it is likely better at driving harder to drive headphones. I think the ZX500 is a really good sounding player. I didn’t expect the ZX507 to sound better than the ZX300 honestly. I was wrong.
I see u're not Kurt Cobain fan.
u misunderstood me. I did not mean chord products (mojo and poly) I meant the song nirvana - polly. hi-res 96/24. does it sound as mind-blowing with zx500 as it does with wm1A? maybe u can compare just this song... thanks
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 11:39 PM Post #1,393 of 8,161

purk

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I see u're not Kurt Cobain fan.
u misunderstood me. I did not mean chord products (mojo and poly) I meant the song nirvana - polly. hi-res 96/24. does it sound as mind-blowing with zx500 as it does with wm1A? maybe u can compare just this song... thanks
It isn’t a night and day different regardless of song. Remember that the amplification modules are nearly the same just one has better capacitors while the 1A has better resistors and a little more power on tap and likely a better power supply handling. If u want mind blowing different, then get a good dedicated amplifier.
 
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Dec 22, 2019 at 11:41 PM Post #1,394 of 8,161

purk

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double posted.
 
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Dec 23, 2019 at 12:02 AM Post #1,395 of 8,161

sander93

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It isn’t a night and day different regardless of song. Remember that the amplification modules are nearly the same just one has better capacitors while the 1A has better resistors and a little more power on tap and likely a better power supply handling. If u want mind blowing different, then get a good dedicated amplifier.
I used 16ohm 98 sens headphones (sony 1Am2)
thus there is no need of additional amp.both zx500 and wm1A have more than enough power to drive them.
I think u've just misunderstood my question...
I want to believe I will have the same pleasure listening to nirvana - polly with zx500 as I have when I was auditioning wm1A. this song just sounded magical with wm1A compared to simple sound of iphone se. just this particular song impressed me the most. with iphone it's just an other grey song. one of many. I could not imagine the wm1A could make it shine. no other composition made such effect: led zeppelin, snoop dogg, queen, other nirvana songs.
I hoped u've understood me now...
 

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